I was impatient and completely bored so I told my uncle that I wanted in on the action of doing the tudung business. I learnt all about tudung and how to make tudung Ariani from my uncle and I also underwent some how-to make tudung courses conducted by some well-respected tudung makers.
I came into the tudung business armed with degrees in the arts and retail management, and apart from overseeing marketing; I design ladies footwear for some confidential companies. Although designing and selling tudung may sound to most like a fun career to pursue, my friend is quick to set the record straight. He says it may all look simple but even a slight miscalculation in the measurements of the mould would render a design a failure.
Getting the right shape of the last is the most crucial part of tudung making as it must fit a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Also, fashion keeps changing and materials keep improving so it is a very challenging job. However, are women really more fussy about their tudung today?
Women want a lot of design and color while men can buy the same item over and over again. Men usually look for shape, design, comfort and price point while women want a stylish and trendy tudung that are also comfortable. My friend explained that the tudung Ariani design process starts with drawing the shape on an art paper against a last. This is then constructed into a three dimensional design, and finally, a two-dimensional version is made to see if all the measurements are correct.
When a tudung that he had designed sells well, it really motivates him to work and keep improving his research and development. To learn about new trends and materials for making tudung, my friend has to travel frequently to other states for trade shows. And just like every other business in the current economic climate, he is also having to pull up its socks, strategize and run a tight ship.
When times are good, consumers will just spend. Now, people will still need to buy tudung but they may choose to buy less in a year. I strongly believe if a company has done all the research and development and is shrewd, it will be able to weather the current economic storm. This is why my company’s tudung brands straddle the market and offer tudung ekin Ariani in the higher and lower price ranges. Of all the brands, our homegrown tudung brand remains our bestseller with prices between 50 dollars to 90 dollars. Its most expensive range is British brand which is handmade and cost a lot.
According to my friend, their uncle used foreign models to advertise our tudung when manufacturers knew very little about the power of advertising. He said that many people believe that locally made tudung are not up to scratch and that the tudung industry here is on its way out. In contrast, tudung factories overseas invest in high tech machines that are capable of doing any type of construction.
The company on the other hand aims to be different and internationally competent. We do not own a tudung factory but instead we work with an original equipment manufacturer factory to produce tudung according to our design and material specifications. And that is surely a big step in the right direction. Want to know which tudung styles are in for the year? Well, grab yourself a copy of the TC tudung journal and you can pick out the perfect one.
Every year, the fashion designers travels to an exotic destination to shoot its catalogue which documents, in the form of a fabulous fashion shoot and product photographs, the brand’s best tudung collection. This year’s journal was shot in Langkawi and features some of the season’s picks from two of the company’s top-selling tudungs.
For the next spring collection, its four lines consist of casual, comfort, career and dinner tudung for women. These draw on clean lines, simplicity and the use of quality fabrics for a more stunning look. For casual flats, there is a choice of tudung which is paired with brooches and selendang. For the career women, there are other appropriate tudung for long hours of working.